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Prepare to fight against lethal Tories’ neglect 

Benefit cuts and attacks on people with disabilities are nothing new from Westminster
Issue 2904
 
Disabled people against Cuts (DPAC) protest earlier his year in March (Picture: Paula Peters)

Disabled people against Cuts (DPAC) protest earlier his year in March (Picture: Paula Peters)

I am among the latest group to be vilified by the Tories because I claim Personal Independence Payments (Pip) to help with the extra costs I face due to my disabilities. 

I have various mental health issues that means I need a lot of support at times to cope with things most people take for granted.  
 
This support costs money that I simply wouldn’t be able to afford without Pip. 
 
My initial claim was rejected by Atos the company previously responsible for assessments at the time. 
 
Then, thanks to Tory austerity, funding was cut to mental health services, which created a perfect storm where I was left without support.
 
I became a shut-in and barely left my flat for several years. I basically gave up on life.  
 
When I reapplied for Pip, it was rejected again, but I was given an award on appeal.  
 
This should have been awarded to me the first time and could have helped prevent me from getting as unwell as I did.  
 
My recovery has taken years of hard work and I would really struggle if my Pip was taken away.
 
It is something I worry about a lot because I don’t think I could cope with going back to where I was.
 
It makes me both scared and angry that the Tories are threatening to take Pip away from disabled people, especially those of us with mental health issues, as a cynical ploy to stop losing votes. 
 
I wish I could say I had hopes that Labour would do better and maybe undo some of the damage caused by the Tories.  
 
However, Starmer seems set to continue the same austerity policies that have been playing with the lives of disabled people for the last 14 years. 
 
This Tory cruelty must be pushed back. Disabled people deserve better than this. 
 
Seb
 
Medway
 

You should be a socialist and union activist
An autumn general election is on the horizon and the local elections were last week. 
 
Trade unionists, and the general public with a conscience, need to seriously consider who they should vote for and who they can really trust.  
 
Can they vote for the Labour Party now that it has shifted dramatically to the right? 
 
If Labour had left wing policies, then voting for them would make more of a difference to our society.   
 
Although as readers of the Socialist Worker newspaper know, Starmer’s Labour Party—with support from unions such as Unite and smaller unions such as Usdaw—is happy to embrace an ever lurching rightward Labour Party.
 
Is the Labour we have now the new generation of Blairites who promise the world, but in reality only offer a small island of good ideas?
 
Before, during and after these elections, I urge all trade unionists to be more active within their union branch and support their workplace reps. 
 
But most of all that they fight for real socialism, not what is offered by the Labour Party.  
 
Richard Alcock
 
 South London
 

Solidarity between workers  
Reg, from Essex, wrote in Socialist Worker on 17 April that sub-postmasters are not deserving of the sympathy they get because they are middle class. 
 
I disagree with Reg 100 percent. Socialists want a humane and fair society.
 
When the bosses of a huge corporation destroy the lives people working under them, of course these people deserve sympathy and solidarity. 
 
Socialists look to the working class to change the world as it has potential power by being organised in the workplace.
 
Workers keep the system going and also have the power to bring it to a standstill. That doesn’t mean we take a heartless approach to self-employed people. 
 
These workers are also crushed by the ruthless actions of the bosses, but usually without the option of organising collectively in unions.
 
Thankfully many are now getting organised. 
 
Lesley McGorrigan
 
 Bradford
 

Back the students fighting repression 
President Joe Biden attack students in the United States who are standing against genocide in Gaza and being forced to defend themselves from the violence of the police.
 
He said, “Destroying property is not a peaceful protest. It’s against the law. Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancelling of classes and graduations—none of this is a peaceful protest.”
 
No student should listen to a word Biden says when defending their occupations and encampments.
 
He can’t say a word about violence when he will have given the go ahead for the police, who are armed with tasers, rubber bullets and tear gas and kitted out tactical armour, to beat students.
 
He shouldn’t have opened his mouth to speak about brutality when the US states’ relationship with Israel enables the terror state to brutalise and murder Palestinians.
 
I say students should protect their encampments by any means necessary and workers should join them.
 
Its a typical trick for the ruling class to describe protesters as violent, militants or vandals.
 
They’re trying to do it here in Britain who those to are resisting the Tories’ refugee deportation scheme.
 
We should spit in the face of those who suggest that our resistance is comparable to the violence that they carry out against us every day.
 
Tara Smyth
 
Newcastle
 

Carnation needed again  
The celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Portuguese revolution in Lisbon last week were absolutely unique.  
 
The intensity on the streets could be felt throughout the city, not just on the 500,000 strong demonstration on the 25 April, but in the build up to it. 
 
This year’s celebrations weren’t just reflective of an important anniversary though.  
 
They were an active response to the rise of the far right party Chega after it gained 18 percent of votes in this March’s elections.  
 
The feeling on the streets revealed how the memory of the revolution has not been lost and can one day be felt again—and soon! 
 
Eva Cowell
 
Edinburgh 
 

Don’t want Hamas as a neighbour? Vote Labour 
Guess who’s to blame for Labour’s defeat in the West Midlands? Hamas.
 
A senior party source said, “It’s the Middle East, not West Midlands, that will have won Tory candidate Andy Street the mayoralty. Once again Hamas are the real villains.” 
 
What a vile Islamophobic foghorn from Labour. 
 
Julia Ryder
 
Worcestershire
 

Reject Western interference
There’s a lot of talk in the media about a potential ceasefire in Gaza if Hamas was to release their remaining hostages.
 
In reality Netenyahu must release all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails aswell.
 
Whatever happens, involvement from western leaders will lead to certain disaster for  a permanent ceasefire and for the future of a Palestinian state.
 
History shows that countries like Iraq and Afganistan have been torn apart by US and British army invasions, long occupations killing millions and concluding in retreat rather than installed peace.
 
Theo Firth
 
 Nottingham

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